‘She is a therapist,’ student explains Teacher of the Month winner

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 5:55 PM CDT
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CROSS COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - Each month KAIT and the Cavenaugh Auto Group have surprised a deserving teacher as KAIT’s Teacher of the Month.

“She is more than just a teacher, she’s one of the reasons I come to school and I am smiling,” said Jayla McCarty, a tenth grader at Cross County High School.

Nikki Williams, a science teacher at Cross County High School, has been in the classroom for nearly a decade, but her journey to the classroom started on a different lilypad.

“Actually a nontraditional teacher, so I went on the more science route then one day my advisor said you should probably look into that,” said Williams.

Since she hopped into the classroom, she has made it a place where her students feel safe to be themselves.

“She’s a teacher that always wants to help. She doesn’t need to help, but she wants to help because that is the type of person she is,” said Eli Searcy, a tenth grader at Cross County High School.

On the day of the surprise, her class was dissecting a frog.

“She is a science teacher; a biology teacher and we are dissecting right now,” said McCarthy.

This is just one of the activities that keep her students learning in different ways.

“You have a little more wiggle room to be more hands-on, inquiry-based, and think outside the box,” Williams said. “There is not always one specific correct answer.”

“I love Mrs. Nikki because she is a one-on-one teacher and a group teacher,” said McCarty.

“It helps a lot because biology is one of the hardest because there is so much information,” said Searcy. “She clearly gets it to us in the best way possible.”

To Williams’ “toad-al” surprise, her hard work has “toad-ally” paid off.

“I love them. It’s so easy especially this time of the year to be overwhelmed and tired, but I want to help them be better people, better learners, better thinkers,” said Williams.

Science was Williams’ favorite subject as a child, so now she is sharing that joy with her students not only in science but in life.

“I found something that I love, and I am passionate about it,” Williams stated. “I want the staff members to love coming here every day. I want the kids to love it every day.”

“I’ve learned more from her than all my teachers combined,” added McCarthy. “She is a therapist, she is a mom teacher, she is a great teacher.”